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Old 23-03-2023, 02:19   #1
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Not a boat owner yet

Hey everyone. I joined this forum to learn from experienced boat owners and seek advice on buying my first boat. As a newbie, I feel a little intimidated by the wealth of knowledge and experience shared on the forum, but it's never too late to learn.
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Old 23-03-2023, 02:43   #2
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Re: Not a boat owner yet

Welcome! You’re right there is so much to learn about boats and boating that we’re all still learning so no reason to feel intimidated. It’s part of why boating is fun, always more to learn.

I wonder what your background in boating has been so far? Also, are you planning to go cruising or just sail weekends in the Chicago area? That would be helpful to know so members can give you useful advice. But the best way to learn is to meet other sailors and see their boats and possibly sail with them so it would be worthwhile to check out bulletin boards at local marinas or yacht clubs or simply show up at them and you never know who you might meet. Lots of people with boats are willing to have an extra crewmember join them for a day so once you start meeting other sailors you’ll have plenty of chances to see their boats and learn about what appeals to you. Then you can bounce what you learn about the boats you sail on off members here to help narrow down what sort of boat would work best for you. Good luck to you!
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Old 23-03-2023, 02:59   #3
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Re: Not a boat owner yet

Are you going to trailer it or dock it? Budget will come into play. If you're docking you'll need insurance at a minimum liability only or more coverage as you wish. So it can be more to budget than just the boat. Then how/where do you store the boat for winter? Sail? Power? Both? Will you be maintaining it yourself or paying someone? So many questions but don't be intimidated. You will find most people on the forums are genuinely interested in helping you. A few might just be snarky. Take what you get with a grain of salt but if the general consensus leans one way, it may be right.

B.O.A.T means break out another thousand. Sailing is "The Fine Art Of Slowly Going Nowhere At Great Expense While Being Cold, Wet And Miserable". But it IS fun and there are a lot of really good people out on the water. So welcome. Please share your dream with us.
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Old 23-03-2023, 05:29   #4
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Re: Not a boat owner yet

Forums like this and blogs are the source of some good information and some not-so-good info.

Published books and articles in Practical Sailor will provide a good base of data that will allow you to better understand on-line information.

Disclaimer, I am a contributing author to PS. But I do NOT benefit from their sales.
" requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
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Old 23-03-2023, 05:50   #5
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Re: Not a boat owner yet

What Snore said. Add "Good Old Boat" to the reading list. Dan Spurr's "Upgrading the Cruising Sailboat" is a good way to familiarize yourself with systems and construction.
Nigel Caulder's tome may be helpful also.
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Old 23-03-2023, 07:44   #6

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Re: Not a boat owner yet

Hello Amelia and welcome to our forum :-)

As a total newbie located, so sez your profile, in Chicago, you'll no doubt get your start towards becoming a sailor on Lake Michigan. That lake, as we all know is big enuff to substitute for an ocean, so what you can learn there will stand you in good stead anywhere you go. :-)

As a novice you'll need to get a grip on whether your interest is in racing or in cruising. If in cruising, then you need to be clear about whether you want to go coastwise cruising only or whether your desire is to go dicing with death where "the stormy winds do blow and the scattered waters rave".

These three rubrics offer entirely different joys and require entirely different mindsets. Once you've decided "where you fit" in the world of sailing, we can begin to discuss what sort of boat it would be desirable for you to have, because the design and fitting out of the vessel must, like your mindset, be appropriate for what you will be asking of it.

Basic boat handling I could teach you in a weekend. There is really nothing to it. HOWEVER — becoming an "able bodied" sailor, let alone a skipper, takes much experience and much "book larnin'".

Remember that very few of us in this forum were born into a seafaring tradition, which means that the majority of our members had to start with a blank slate. That means, in turn, that no question is too simple, too "silly" or too "stupid", to ask, so don't hold back :-)! Ask all the questions you can think of, and we will give you all the help we can.

So — over to you :-)!

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Old 30-03-2023, 12:16   #7
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Re: Not a boat owner yet

Welcome to CruisersForum!

I would suggest updating your profile with your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link:

I would happily help more if the link above is not enough.
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For all of your celestial navigation questions:
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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